Slowly Jack learns the pleasures of writing poetry as Miss Stretchberry encourages him to tell his own story through verse. What emerges is a moving and memorable story about a boy and his dog and his growing passion for poetry.
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(198mm x 129mm x 9mm)
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
At first, Jack does not want to write poetry because 'boys don't write poetry. Girls do.' However, as his teacher Miss Stretchberry shows him how honest, direct responses can be crafted, he comes to understand himself better. Reluctant at first even to admit that he had a pet, eventually he is able to write a poem commemorating his relationship with his dog Sky. It is extremely difficult to categorize this book. Written entirely in Jack's words, it tells the story of his awakening as a writer. It has all the elements of a poem: it is condensed; it juxtaposes images and ideas and it relies on the reader's experience to fill in the spaces and give it meaning. Published as a children's book, perhaps because of its length, central character and simple vocabulary, it has equal, if not more, appeal for adults. Sharon Creech is to be congratulated on the range of effects and the complexity of emotions she creates in very basic language. Usefully, the poems which Miss Stretchberry teaches appear in full at the back of the book. Though not unfamiliar, they are generally refreshingly modern, not the classic poems of the late 19th and early 20th-century which often fill up school books. William Carlos William's Red Wheelbarrow is a particularly valuable inclusion. A lovely book which can be read over and over again, Love that Dog could be used in schools as an antidote to the National Curriculum. It certainly shows the importance of reading poetry as a stimulus for writing. Creech generously dedicates it to all the poets and teachers who inspire students every day. Most would feel fulfilled if they had inspired just one child like Jack. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Sharon Creech
Sharon Creech lives in the USA. She is the recipient of all the major children's book awards including the Newbery Award and the Carnegie Medal which she won with Ruby Holler.